Monsieur Gaston Bachelard writes:
'To pave the way for a phenomenology of what is hidden, one preliminary remark will suffice: an empty drawer is unimaginable. It can only be thought of.
And for us, who must describe what we imagine before what we know, what we dream before what we verify, all wardrobes are full'.
|Is this what waiting is - the entrance into a relationship with what is hidden, with what time and only time will reveal? Take the closed archives of prison or cabinet or the asylum, with their prohibitions measured in years - 'These files are closed for 50 years, for 30 years, policy is in the process of being determined' - the arbitrariness of the edicts only heightens our perception of our keepers anxiety.|
We believe, we hope, that what is under the lock and key of time and history must have value, be unforgettable.
'The casket contains the things that are unforgettable, unforgettable to us, but also unforgettable for those to whom we are going to give our treasures. Here the past, the present and a future are condensed.
Thus the casket is memory of what is immemorial.'
Bachelard, 'drawers, chests and wardrobes'
WAITING CREATES MEMORY
Gaston said that at the moment at which the casket is opened the dialectic of inside and outside is effaced. The waiting is over. The truth about the stranger, the lover, the child that you have borne is revealed. Pain too is erased.
The mother says 'I remembered nothing of the pain when I saw her/his face.' Or, 'When the phone rang I knew she was safe.'
THE END OF WAITING IS THE
END OF MEMORY
While waiting for the phone to ring, to hear that she is safe, the potential for disaster is infinite. Limitless.
You see a dark highway, twisted bodies, metal, a bush track, the feint outline of tyres on soft dirt, damp grass crushed and matted. Your mind scans wildly.
You glimpse a body, her body.
'There is always more than meets the eye.' (Bachelard.) 'We shall never reach the bottom of the casket.' (Jean-Pierre Richard.)
WAITING IS CATASTROPHIC
What about the one left for dead?